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Operations Strategy in a Global Environment

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS Human resources Employment of certified versus noncertified

repair persons; employment of specialists
1. Global seems the better label for Boeing since authority and versus general mechanics
responsibility reside in the U.S.—the home country. Supply Chain Choice of supplier(s) for both general and
2. Six reasons to internationalize: Reduce costs, improve supply original manufacturer parts and supplies
chain, provide better goods and services, attract new markets, learn Scheduling Hours of operation (8:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M.;
to improve operations, attract and retain global talent. 24-hour towing; weekends/holidays), repairs
3. No. Sweetness at Coca-Cola is adjusted for the tastes of indi- versus motor vehicle safety inspections, etc.;
vidual countries. service by appointment versus walk-in
(or drive-up) service
4. A mission is an organization’s purpose—what good or service
Inventory Quantity and variety of repair parts (fan belts,
it will contribute to society.
filters, mufflers, headlights, etc.) to stock;
5. Strategy is an organization’s action plan—how it is going to whether to stock generic or original manu-
achieve its purpose. facturer parts
6. A mission specifies where the organization is going and a Maintenance Bays with hydraulic lifts vs. easier-to-
Strategy specifies how it is going to get there. maintain “basement” work areas. Preventive
7. The answer to this question will depend on the establish- maintenance of equipment vs. breakdown.
ment studied, but should probably include some of the following 8. Library or Internet assignment: Student is to identify a mis-
considerations: sion and strategy for a firm. BusinessWeek, Fortune, The Wall
The mission: diagnose automobile problems and make the neces- Street Journal, and Forbes all have appropriate articles.
sary repair at a fair price for the local customer. 9. OM strategy change during a product’s life cycle: During the
Points to consider, or options, within the 10 decision areas are: introduction stage, issues such as product design and development
are critical, then during the growth stage the emphasis changes to
Decision: Option:
product and process reliability; from there we move to concern for
Product Repair work of American and/or foreign increasing the stability of the manufacturing process and cost cut-
vehicles; specialized (tune-ups, lubrication, ting; and finally, in the decline stage pruning the line to eliminate
wheel alignment, etc.) versus general repair; items not returning good margin becomes important. Figure 2.5
frame and body repair versus engine and provides a more expansive list.
power train repair; repair and maintenance 10. The text focuses on three conceptual strategies—cost leader-
only, versus repair, maintenance, and sales of ship, differentiation and response. Cost leadership by Walmart—via
fuel; professional staffing versus rental of low overhead, vicious cost reduction in the supply chain; Differen-
tools and space for do-it-yourself repair work tiation, certainly any premium product—all fine dining restau-
Quality Appropriate level of quality; warranty; method rants, up-scale autos—Lexus, etc.; Response, your local pizza
of measuring and maintaining quality (cus- delivery service, FedEx, etc.
tomer complaints, inspection by supervising
11. An operations strategy statement for Southwest Airlines
mechanic, etc.)
would include a focus on efficient, low-cost service with high
Process Use of general versus special purpose diag-
capital utilization (high aircraft and gate utilization), flexible non-
nostic and repair equipment (in particular,
union employees, low administrative overhead, etc. Southwest’s
the degree to which computer controlled
strategy is complicated by the purchase of AirTran. First, there is
diagnostic equipment is employed)
a major organizational culture issue. Southwest’s culture is
Location In-town, shopping mall, highway
unique. The company really does think of itself as a family, with a
Layout Single bay/multibay; general-purpose bay
fun culture. AirTran’s culture is different. Integrating the two
versus special-purpose bay (lubrication/tire
cultures will be a challenge. Related to this are human resources
repairs and installation/wheel alignment/
issue such as seniority, pay rate, and promotion policies, all of
engine and power train repair, etc.)
which are complicated by union issues. On the tangible side,
Southwest’s use of just Boeing 737s is complicated by AirTran’s

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use of several other types of planes. To maintain the “one plane” END-OF-CHAPTER PROBLEMS
efficiency (pilot training maintenance, inventory, etc.), Southwest 2.1 The three methods are cost leadership, differentiation, and
is going to have to replace all those planes. This will be expen- response. Cost leadership can be illustrated by Walmart, with low
sive, but so will not getting rid of them. overhead and huge buying power to pressure its suppliers into
12. The integration of OM with marketing and accounting is concessions. Differentiation can be illustrated by almost any
pervasive. You might want to cite examples such as developing new restaurant or restaurant chain, such as Red Lobster, which offers a
products. (Marketing must help with the design, the forecast and tar- distinct menu and style of service than others. Response can be
get costs; accounting must ensure adequate cash for development illustrated by a courier service such as FedEx, that guarantees
and the necessary capital equipment.) Similarly, new technology specific delivery schedules; or by a custom tailor, who will hand
or new processes emanating from operations must meet the make a suit specifically for the customer.
approval of marketing and the capital constraints imposed by the 2.2 Cost leadership: institutional food services, such as
accounting department. Sodexho, provide meal service to college campuses and similar
13. To summarize outsourcing trends: institutions. Such firms often get their contracts by being low
 Not everyone who outsources is 100% satisfied, and bidder to provide service. Response: a catering firm (the customer
future arrangements may be revised or insourced. picks the menu, time, and date). Differentiation: virtually all res-
 IT will be a major expansion area, according to taurants seek differentiation in menu, in taste, in service. This is
Gartner, Inc. particularly true of fine dining restaurants, but also true of fast
 More laws may be passed to protect U.S. jobs. food restaurants. For instance, Burger King likes to talk about
 Foreign firms will increase their outsourcing to the U.S. meals “anyway you want them,” and McDonald’s has a play-
 Outsourcing will continue to grow. ground or seating area for children.
 Current practices will be improved.
2.3 Arrow; Bidermann International, France
14. Cost savings in recent years from outsourcing has been Braun Household Appliances; Procter & Gamble, U.S.
significant. It may be possible to reduce labor costs by as much Volvo Autos; Geely, China
75%. But more realistically, this figure is in the 20%–40% range. Firestone Tires; Bridgestone, Japan
Overall savings in the 10%–30% range are possible. Godiva Chocolate; Campbell Soup, U.S.
15. Internal issue include: Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream; great globalization discussion
 Employment—morale may drop, and employees may example: Haagen-Dazs was established in New York
lose their jobs. City; now owned by Pillsbury (U.S.A.), which is owned
 Facilities—may need to be changed if components arrive by General Mills (U.S.A.), but Nestlé SA (Switzerland) is
in different stages of assembly. licensed to sell Haagen-Dazs in the U.S.
 Logistics—now includes customs, timing and insurance. Jaguar Autos; Tata, India
16. The company should identify its own core competencies and MGM Movies; Credit Lyonnais, France
then consider a list of candidate activities and firms for outsourcing. Lamborghini; Volkswagen, Germany
The factor-rating method can be used to compare various companies Goodrich; Michelin, France
on a set of factors that management considers important. Alpo Pet Foods; Nestlé, Switzerland
17. Bad outsourcing decisions may result in: 2.4 (a) The maturing of a product may move the OM function
 Higher transportation cost to focus on more standardization, make fewer product
 Loss of control changes, find optimum capacity, stabilize the manufac-
 Future competition from the provider turing process, lower labor skills, use longer production
 Negative impact on employees runs, and institute cost cutting and design compromises.
 Quick gains at the expense of long-term objectives (b) Technological innovation in the manufacturing process
18. McDonald’s fits the categorization in the text as a multi- may mean new human resources skills (either new per-
domestic, as opposed to international, global, or transnational. sonnel and/or training of existing personnel), and added
This is the concept of exporting the management talent and pro- capital investment for new equipment or processes. Prod-
cess allowing flexibility in the product itself. In the case of McDon- uct design, layout, maintenance procedures, purchasing,
ald’s, this export is operations management expertise, which it has inventory, quality standards, and procedures may all
implemented world-wide. Interestingly, McDonald’s likes to call need to be revised.
itself multilocal. (c) A design change will, at least potentially, require the same
changes as noted in (b).
ETHICAL DILEMMA 2.5 Specific answers to this question depend on the organization
Here is an interesting scenario. A firm can save $10 million in pro- considered. Some general thoughts follow:
duction costs per year. All it has to do is locate manufacturing in (a) For a producer with high energy costs, major oil pric-
China, which is not a democracy, where sustainability is not an es change the cost structure, result in higher selling
issue, and where some employees are exploited. Nike faced a prices, and, if the company is energy inefficient com-
similar dilemma in Vietnam, where it was accused of paying less pared to other producers, result in a change in
than a livable wage ($1.60 per day). Students may be prepared to
discuss this current and sensitive subject.

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competitive position. Conversely, when oil prices 2.10 (a) The results of the factor rating method are:
drop it is a bonanza for heavy fuel users such as
Overnight Worldwide United
Shipping Delivery Freight
(b) More restrictive quality of water and air legislation
in-creases the cost of production and may, in some cas- Weighted total 800 815 775
es, prohibit the use of specific technologies. The high Weighted average 80 81.5 77.5
cost of process modification to meet more rigid standards
The best outsource provider is Worldwide Delivery.
has resulted in the closing of numerous plants including (b) Nothing changes in the weighted averages if every
paper mills and steel mills.
one of the weights is doubled. The weighted totals will
(c) A decrease in the number of young prospective
em-ployees entering the U.S. labor market can contrib- (c) If the three Overnight Shipping ratings increase by
ute to a tighter job market. High unemployment rates
10%, to 99, 77, and 77, respectively, the new weighted
can have the opposite effect.
average is 88, and the weighted sum is 880. So Overnight
(d) Inflation, especially at high or uncertain rates, makes it is now the preferred logistics provider.
more difficult to predict both the cost of production and
the market demand. 2.11
(e) Legislation moving health insur- Selection Criterion Computations Computations Computations
ance from a before-tax benefit to Criteria Weight for Manila for Delhi for Moscow
taxable income will reduce the
take-home pay of employees by 1. Flexibility 0.5 0.5  5 = 2.5 0.5  1 = 0.5 0.5  9 = 4.5
the amount of the taxes. This 2. Trustworthiness 0.1 0.1  5 = 0.5 0.1  5 = 0.5 0.1  2 = 0.2
could have a significant effect on 3. Price 0.2 0.2  4 = 0.8 0.2  3 = 0.6 0.2  6 = 1.2
the income of employees in the
4. Delivery 0.2 0.2  5 = 1.0 0.2  6 = 1.2 0.2  6 = 1.2
lower pay classifications, putting
substantial pressure on operations Total score 1.0 4.8 2.8 7.1
managers to increase wages in these classifications. Moscow Bell is clearly the highest rated for Walker’s help desk.
(This does not mean that it is not a good idea for socie- 2.12
ty—i.e., to make employees more sensitive to the cost
of health insurance.) Provider Score

2.6 The corruption perception index maintained by Transparency A 5W + 320 = (60 + 15 + 125 + 15 + 30 + 75)
International ( gives a 1-to-10 scale (10 being B 4W + 330
least corrupt to 1 being most corrupt). Also see Chapter 8, Table 8.2. C 3W + 370
A lively class discussion can also take place regarding who
D 5W + 255
pays bribes, as shown on the same Web site. Other perspectives of
culture are shown on the Asia Pacific Management Forum page Find all w from 1–30 so that:
( 3w + 370  5w + 320, or 50  2w, or w  25
2.7 The Economist does an analysis similar to this on occasion 3w + 370  4w + 330, or 40  w, or w  40
but the “Global Competitiveness Index,” World Economic Forum, 3w + 370  5w + 255, or 115  2w, or w  57.5
Geneva ( does one every year. (Also see
Table 8.1 in the text.) For 2011–2012, Switzerland, 1; Singapore, Company C is recommended for all w such that 1.0  w  25.0
2; Sweden, 3; Finland, 4; and U.S, 5 are some rankings.
2.8 (a) Using the weighted model, with the four weights total- ADDITIONAL HOMEWORK PROBLEM
ing 1.0, England has a risk of 2.3 and Canada a risk of Problem 2.13 appears at and
1.7. Now Canada is selected.
2.13 Global. Its level of integration goes beyond multinational.
England = .1(2) + .6(3) + .2(1) + .1(1) = 2.3
The collection of parts and subassemblies coming from other
Canada = .1(3) + .6(1) + .2(3) + .1(2) = 1.7 countries is carefully orchestrated. It is not transnational because
(b) When each of the weights is doubled, the selection stays its “home” is clearly the U.S., and there is little sense of “local
the same: Canada. responsiveness.”

2.9 With weights given, the results are:

Mexico = 3.3 = [.4(1) + .2(7) + .1(3) + .1(5) + .1(4) + .1(3)]
Panama = 4.1
Costa Rica = 4.4
Peru = 4.2
Mexico is the lowest-risk country for the firm to outsource to.

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CASE STUDY 1. Regal Marine’s mission is to provide luxury performance boats

to the world through constant innovation, unique features, and high
MINIT-LUBE quality that will differentiate the boats in the marketplace.
1. What constitutes the mission of Minit-Lube? 2. A strength of Regal Marine is continued innovation that is
To provide economical preventative maintenance and being recognized in the marketplace. One current weakness is
in-terior auto cleaning, primarily to vehicles owned by indi- maintaining an effective, well-trained labor force in a tight Florida
viduals (as opposed to businesses), in the U.S. labor market. The opportunities for Regal include an increase in
boat sales brought about through the reduction of the luxury tax
2. How does the Minit-Lube strategy provide competitive and Regal Marine’s increasing market presence in the world boat
advantage? market. The threats to Regal are a huge number of small competi-
This case is a good way to get the student thinking about the 10 tors going after various parts of the market. Brunswick goes after
decisions around which the text is organized. Minit-Lube’s ap- the mass market, and hundreds of small boat manufacturers go
proach to these 10 decisions includes: after various niche markets.
 Product design: A narrow product strategy could be 3. Regal Marine’s strategy is to focus on constant innovation, high
defined as “lubricating automobiles” (more in Chapter 5). quality, and good value for the money with sales through effective
 Quality strategy: Because of limited task variety, high rep- dealers.
etition, good training, and good manuals, quality should be 4. Each of the 10 operations management decisions is important
relatively easy to maintain. to Regal’s success:
 Process strategy: The process strategy allows employees  Product: Must be unique, full of features, and richly
and capital investment to focus on doing this mission well, appointed, which puts constant pressure on the design, styl-
rather than trying to be a “general purpose” garage or gas ing, and appointments.
 Quality: Because the typical Regal Marine customer is inter-
 Location strategy: Facilities are usually located near resi-
ested in exceptional quality for his/her substantial investment.
dential areas.
 Process selection and design: Because of the large number
 Layout strategy: The three bays are designed specifically for
of boats and custom features, building via repetitive pro-
the lubrication and vacuuming tasks to minimize wasted
cesses in a modular way has proven to be an effective and
movement on the part of the employees and to contribute to
efficient process.
the speedier service.
 Inventory: Regal tries to drive down finished goods inven-
 Supply-chain management: Purchasing is facilitated by tory but must maintain inventory of purchased parts to
negotiation of large purchases and custom packaging. meet changing production schedules. Additionally, the tool-
 Human resources strategy: Human resources strategy ing inventory, that is the various molds, create an inventory
focuses on hiring a few employees with limited skills and problem all their own. This is a good point for class discus-
training them in a limited number of tasks during the per- sion, as most students may not be familiar with the process.
formance of which they can be closely supervised.  Scheduling: Regal tries to move the components from
 Inventory: Inventory investment should be relatively low, workstation to workstation on a one-day JIT basis. Good,
and they should expect a high turnover. reliable schedules are necessary to get the job done.
 Scheduling: Scheduling is quite straightforward with simi-  Supply-chain management: Of course suppliers are im-
lar times for most cars. Once volume and fluctuation in portant because of many of the appointments—from galley
volume are determined, scheduling should be very direct— features through engines, and hardware make a huge
assisting both staffing and customer relations. difference in the perceptions and performance of marine
 Maintenance: There is relatively little equipment to be main- craft. Consequently, the selection of these suppliers and
tained, and therefore little preventive maintenance is required. their performance is critical to Regal.
With three bays and three systems, there is backup available  Maintenance: Much of Regal’s maintenance hinges on
in the case of failure. keeping fiberglass guns and molds ready for use.
3. Specialization of personnel and facilities should make Minit-  Location: Because Florida is one of the major markets for
Lube more efficient. Jobs/tasks accomplished per man hour boats in America, Regal is positioned to supply this large
would be a good place to start. market rapidly and economically.
 Layout: Because of the bulkiness of the product, the layout
must be designed, as it is, to minimize loads times the dis-
VIDEO CASE STUDIES tances times the difficulty factor. There is a clean logical
1 flow of material through the plant.
 Human resources: Is important because boat hulls, decks,
There is a short video (7 minutes) available from Pearson Prentice
assembly, and finishing out the boats have a high labor con-
Hall and filmed specifically for this text that supplements this case.
tent. Additionally, the current diverse labor market in Florida
creates special challenges for operations managers at Regal.

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There is a short video (9 minutes) available from Pearson Prentice
The 10 minute video that accompanies this case study is available
Hall, and filmed specifically for this text, that supplements this case.
from Pearson Prentice Hall and was filmed specifically for text.
1. Identify the strategic changes that have taken place at Hard
1. There are numerous outsourcing opportunities available to a
Rock Cafe. What we want to do here is help the student under-
restaurant, including food supplies, all other supplies, janitorial,
stand that an optimum mix of internal strengths and opportunities
data processing, benefits, marketing, and book-keeping. Darden
drives strategies in a changing environment.
outsources the seafood and produce part of its supply chain, but
 Initially, Hard Rock was a London cafe serving classic maintains tight quality standards “from farm to fork.”
American food.
2. When a giant like Darden procures supplies in 35 countries, it
 Then it became a “theme” chain with memorabilia in
needs to have a large staff “on the ground” to arrange for training,
tourist destinations. quality control, contracts, expediting, language/cultural issues,
 Then it added stores. and so on. With very tight standards, it will not use a supplier
 Then it added live music and a rock concert. until all its expectations for reliability/quality are met. Once
 Then it became an established name and began opening trained, a supplier need not be managed as closely, freeing Darden
hotels and casinos. supply chain personnel to seek out the next provider.
 Then it upgraded its menu. 3. In other industries, perhaps where 48-hour freshness is not
 Then it moved into cities that are not the typical tourist a critical issue, supply chains may differ. Challenges come from
destination. culture, communications, distance, and documents. Companies
like Walmart have used alliances. P&G reorganized along
2. As these strategic changes have taken place—the 10 decisions
product lines instead of geography to increase coordination.
of OM change:
Mercedes decided to build some models in the U.S. to get closer
 Location: From a London cafe, to tourist destinations, to to customers.
non-tourist locations.
4. Darden outsources seafood harvesting and preparation off-
 Product design: New menu items
shore because (a) it may not legally own/control the catch in for-
 Quality: The entire evaluation of quality and quality con- eign waters; (b) labor intensity of food preparation means it is
trol got much more complex. cheaper for that work to be done offshore; (c) bulk food purchases
 Process: The kitchen process changed when Hard Rock are capital intensive and not part of Darden’s core competence.
went from hamburgers to lobster and additional changes
were made as the firm moved to retail merchandising.
 Layout: Added retail stores, added live music facilities.
 Supply-chain management: Purchase memorabilia and
lobsters—new expectations of the supply chain.
 Inventory: From food to clothing to memorabilia, to
expanded food items in inventory—how do you keep lob-
sters alive and how long?
 Human resources: The range of talents needed keeps
expanding; from cooks of classic American fare and wait
staff and bartenders, to merchandisers, to cooks for a wider
more expensive menu, to coordinators and performers for
the live music facilities.
The case says little about scheduling and maintenance, but every
change in product (food or merchandise) and every change in
equipment and processes changes scheduling and maintenance.
3. Hard Rock fits in the multidomestic strategy, which uses the
existing domestic model globally.

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